Backlinks and search engines
Backlinks, also named inbound links, reflects the popularity of a site and its audience. For webmasters, they are the key factor in search engine optimization, for improving the traffic of a site.
They give visibility to an article on the Web and provide visitors who follow links, but also improve the score of the article (PageRank) to the algorithm of search engines, and thus its ranking in results and thus, its traffic. It is important to know why webmasters add these external links and where they do not add them.
- When are links added to documents?
- Who is likely to get links to his/her articles?
- Importance of design.
- The variable quality of inbound links.
- Disavowing backlinks is it a good practice?.
When are links added to documents?
External links are added in a document in the following cases:
- To give more information if the webmaster does not wish to deepen the self-same subject.
- To quote his sources.
- To indicate where to get a document that the site does not provide itself. For example, a graphic, animation, script or software...
- When the author likes a page and want to share it with other.
These links may be added in different parts of a web page of various media:
- In the content of articles.
- In comments.
- On a forum.
- On a social network.
Who is likely to get links to his/her articles?
What are the conditions for a site to get backlinks?
- When the site has authority.
- For fairly complete articles.
- Well-written article.
- Reference articles. Lists. For example "10 things" to do this or that.
- Article create enthusiasm.
The rules are different for blogs. The social networking aspect outweighs the other, one must have friendly sites to have links.
There is little chance of getting back links in the following cases:
- Article copied or press releases from AFP.
- Article poorly written or poorly presented.
- Article implausible. It does not cite its sources reliable reference or seems biased.
- From siteswhich competes with yours.
Some advice to how to get backlinks.
Importance of design
Various aspects in the design of a site should be considered for getting backlinks.
The site design should be consistent in the sense that the interaction works the same on all pages.
The layout should be clean, give a professional impression.
Authority of the site and the author
The main factors that can give authority to a site:
- A domain name short and not made of a set of keywords.
- A well-known or credible author.
- A good writing style.
- Original illustrations or photos (on which the author have rights).
- A great design.
Must (unless it is an encyclopedia) specialize to obtain an authority that creates backlinks, and do not pose itself as a competitor to a greater number of webmasters.
It goes without saying that the larger the size of an article is important and more likely it is to get backlinks. On the other hand, short articles seem preferable for the engine.
Some sites solve the dilemma by dividing the articles into several pages. The rule of division is as follows: Each page corresponds to a query on search engines.
They enrich an article and improve its position in results and therefore the traffic, but the drawback is that they send visitors to other sites.
However, wanting to keep visitors at any price would be a mistake, it is better to get more visitors - to what external links contributes - than trying to keep a few.
So the benefits of external links outweigh the disadvantages, do not hesitate to add them because it often happens that articles that get the most backlinks themselves have many external links.
The variable quality of inbound links
According to Matt Cutts, that leads the Webspam team of Google, a quality link has the following characteristics:
- It must have been given voluntarily.
- It is an editorial link in the body of the text, and to complete the text.
- It is pertinent: in connection with the topic of the article.
- It has an explicit anchor what said on what it point out.
- It is not malformed.
- It contains no artifice that could deceived about its nature.
- The connection is made because we want to let something known by his visitors.
These are links that are requested by those who provide elements of site such as templates for Wordpress for example. The author wants to have in a footer link on his site, and embeds the link in his template. Or they are links to friend sites.
These links obey to a general law, if they are not relevant, if they have nothing to do with the content of the blog, they have no value. Since October 2012, Webmaster Guidelines prohibit lots of footer links:
Links widely distributed in the footers of various sites.
They are considered unnatural and part of a link scheme.
Google previously advised against reciprocal links. Then his record has been refined: it discourages excessive reciprocal links. But what is excessive?
If the links are not natural, and irrelevant, if you request a backlink when you make a link to a site, these interactions are considered excessive.
They are not if they are useful to visitors.
In hopes of improving their position in search results, some sites set up link farms, these are satellite sites created for that purpose and containing quantities of links on their site.
They can also piggybacking collaborative sites to host these pages of links... before they are deleted by moderators.
List of links prohibited by Google
In Webmaster Guidelines, certain types of links are considered unnatural and can penalize a site:
- Too many exchange of links between sites. It is not clear what "too many" is, but if there are more reciprocal links than spontaneous links, it is certainly too many.
- Link placed in content but unrelated to this content. These are usually paid links in fact, but the principle is itself constestable.
- Link directory or bookmark sites of low quality. By low quality, it is assumed that there are sites which have little visits, often the same descriptions.
- Links automated.
- Links in footer on all pages. This is a recent addition to the list, if they are found too often, it is penalized.
- Signatures in forums with keywords. Nothing less natural since it is the webmaster himself who create these links. Generally, self-promotion is penalized.
But these links are not a cause of penalty if they are in nofollow.
Disavowing backlinks is it a good practice?
There was a time when maximum backlinks on its site were wanted, regardless of the quality of these, but after the Penguin Update penalizing a site for an excess of bad links, the trend reversed and webmasters now want absolutely remove bad links to their site. Links are undesirable when there links from pages with objectionable content, or directories without visitors beside sites unrelated to yours, or paid links.
After Penguin thus a tool became indispensable: allowing a webmaster to delete (virtually) links to its site. It is now done, since October 17, 2012, this is part of Google Webmaster Tools.
This tool is not to be used by everyone, only those sites that were penalyzed by these bad links should use it.
A recent thematic site must specialize and do not write on all topics. The theme should be clear. The content must be made of long articles well written, with original content.
Blogs depend mainly of social network and little of content. But to broaden audience one must go beyond the blogroll and use the principles of thematic site.
If you are the webmaster of the site, you can find a partial list of links to a page through Google Webmaster Tools or with Bing Webmaster Tools. Otherwise, you can use tools on the list of tools for webmaster in the Webmaster section.